ED3310 Plasma Waves, Advanced Course 6.0 credits

Plasmavågor, avancerad kurs

This course should provide the theoretical basis for wave propagation in a hot plasma, including linear mode conversion. The student should be able to describe how waves affect the distribution function of resonant species and conditions for instabilities in velocity space.

  • Education cycle

    Third cycle
  • Main field of study

  • Grading scale

    P, F

Information for research students about course offerings

The course is given when there is sufficient demand. Please contact the examiner if you are interested in taking the course.

Intended learning outcomes

When completing the course, the student should be able to

  • Describe the main modifications of the response due to hot plasmas
  • Characterize the most common waves in a hot plasma
  • Describe how to calculate the change in the distribution function due to wave-particle interaction, using quasi-linear theory
  • Describe RF-heating and current drive
  • Characterize the drift waves
  • Describe three-wave interactions
  • Describe how the ponderomotive force affects the plasma

Course main content

Hot dielectric tensor; waves in hot plasmas, instabilities in velocity space (stimulated emission). Quasilinear diffusion in velocity space due to collisions and wave absorption; radio frequency heating and current drive. Linear mode conversion, the Budden equation.

Drift waves. Non-linear effects; ponderomotive force and three-wave interactions. 


Seminairs or discussion meetings.


ED2210, Electromagnetic Processes in Dispersive Media or a similar course and FED3250 or FED3240

Recommended prerequisites

ED2210, Electromagnetic Processes in Dispersive Media or a similar course and FED3250 or FED3240


Lecture notes. References in lecture note required for understanding the notes.

T.H. Stix,Waves in Plasmas, American Institute of Physics, New York, 1992 Chapters 10, 11 13 14, 16, 17

e.g. in D.G. Swanson, Plasma Waves, second edition, Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd 2003 London 


  • EXA1 - Examination, 6.0, grading scale: P, F

Requirements for final grade

Written and Final Oral examination

Offered by

EECS/Fusion Plasma Physics


Thomas Jonsson


Thomas Jonsson <johnso@kth.se>


Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2012.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2019.